The autopsy of the mysterious “black sarcophagus”, discovered recently in a cave on the outskirts of Alexandria, Egypt, became a hit news of recent days. Even despite the fact that the “occupant” of the ancient burial structures were not Alexander the great or some other notable person, the circumstances of the autopsy are forced to treat this Saga of archaeologists as a very dangerous event. We are talking about poisonous gases may escape from torn pressure seal of the sarcophagus.
People interested in excavations of ancient tombs, like threatening the life and health of the phenomenon in everyday life is called “the curse of the pharaohs”.
The correspondent of “MK” has tried to find out how real is the threat, and with which it is associated.
The present works on opening the “black sarcophagus” archaeologists have taken precautions. Out of the pit, the bottom of which is an ancient artifact that was previously removed all extraneous. Once you start printing the 2,000-year-old granite “box” initially, the lid lifted her only a couple of inches and immediately after the work has stopped, suggesting that the inside can break out some poisonous gases. Further manipulation of the sarcophagus specialists carried out wearing protective masks for breathing.
How justified are such fears? Happened first whether incidents of poisoning of archaeologists? Interesting facts on this subject is failed at the time to hear from the deceased a couple of years ago, a famous archaeologist Andrey stanyukovicha.
According to Andrey Kirillovich, can count dozens of times the penetration into the ancient crypts and hidden burial caves of the archaeologists leading to serious illnesses and even death.
The most famous case associated with the opening of the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922. Penetrating to the participants of the search expedition led by archaeologist Howard Carter and its sponsor Lord Carnarvon, allegedly found threatening the inscription left by the ancient Egyptians: “Swift death to all who enter this sacred crypt.” Subsequent events have shown that to neglect this prehistoric caution was not worth it. After six months suddenly developed fever Carnarvon died, and after him for several years for some very strange reasons, died a few participants in the opening of the tomb of the Pharaoh.
With a light hand of the famous writer and admirer of the mystical theories of Conan Doyle’s a version of the real effect of an ancient curse. Other supporters of the “conspiracy theories” added to that “horror stories” about some mysterious poison, supposedly hidden in ancient Egyptian tombs, to punish not petition the guests who violated the peace of the dead.
However there are lot of people skeptical about such hypothetical horrors and have a quite ordinary explanation for the chain of deaths of members of the “group of Lord Carnarvon”.
Eventually found out that the risk of Contracting a deadly disease when the penetration into the underground crypts and caves still exist. The people trapped there, cavers, archeologists, can easily become infected with histoplasmosis. This dangerous disease, by external manifestations similar to pneumonia, rather fraught with a deadly outcome. And the reason for it are the spores of the specific fungus, actively developing such underground facilities. His favorite habitat – the droppings of bats, which is always a lot in these dungeons.
Another version of the existence of the “curse of the pharaohs” was expressed in his time one of the atomic scientists. According to him, trespassing in a hitherto unknown underground tomb the band Carnarvon and other archaeologists were exposed to radiation, which in those years are not smart enough to control. He suggested that the ancient Egyptians on this subject was far more advanced and knew about the existence of a “murderous” influence of some stones that nature has provided increased radiation background. It is from these stones the subjects of the Pharaoh was smart enough to lay the floors and walls of tombs.
In addition to the explanations stanyukovicha, we can mention some cases, where the death of a desecrated ancient graves occurred is not the fault of the “curse of the pharaohs”.
For example, in 2017, one of the Chinese provinces killed four people at once, made an illegal expedition to plunder the tombs they discovered 1000 years of age. When they were working in a dungeon, lost consciousness one of the “black diggers”. His companions hurried to bring victim to the nearest hospital, where the doctors eyes and he fainted three more accidents. To save them failed. The outbreak investigation revealed that Amateur archaeologists in a remote dungeon inhaled exhaust fumes from a generator, which they dragged into the cave for the device its illumination.
The sad incident with loss of life, penetrated into the burial crypts has happened in our area.
The author of these lines happened to hear from one of the “black diggers”, who agreed to meet under the condition of anonymity, the darkest case of his practice: “I Once found an old family crypt in one of the abandoned estates. On top of the building was almost completely destroyed. However, under the ground remained covered with stone slabs, the room in which stood two carved sarcophagus. I got there, the announcement after a long search for a narrow passage going down between the fragments. When I reached goal, I was overcome with horror: the air in the crypt was stale, heavy, breathing immediately became difficult, and in the light in this stone cell I saw near one of the sarcophagi of the mummy man! He was dressed in quite modern “koptelskiy” equipment. Was lying prone. Apparently it was my colleague who climbed here much earlier than me. And died for no apparent reason – whether from lack of oxygen, lost consciousness, or inhaled some nasty things when I was trying to get inside of the sarcophagus… I mean, to repeat his “feat” was not, and hastened to turn around to exit. Barely managed to escape, the last meters crawling through the maze is already in a semi-conscious state…”
The theme we continued in conversation with a professional treasure hunter Vladimir Poryvaeva.
“These deaths are known to me. And the reasons for them is not always possible to explain. One of them had heard from her grandmother. She recalled how in the late 1920s in the village of Semenovskoe near Moscow, where our family, on the initiative of the new authorities opened the tomb of the former owners of the local estate of count Orlov. Several young men, entering the crypt, defeated there were burials removed from of the dead jewelry, even some clothes (one of the guys was figural in boots, taken from the rotting corpse)… So all these vandals after the incident, did not live also half a year: someone drowned, someone threw in a drunken brawl, someone crashed, falling from the wagon, when the horses rushed… I guess you could call this a case of “the curse of the eagles”!
And my uncle, a scientist, an immunologist, who headed in due time in one of medical institutions Department of particularly dangerous diseases, said that in some places in Russia digging through old graves fatal for their participants. The fact that someone buried in the old days the dead could die from the terrible disease anthrax, plague causative Agents of these diseases can survive in the ground for decades, centuries…”
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